On Thursday, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published its annual Criminal Investigation (CI) report. During the fiscal year of 2021, the agency reported that it seized $3.5 billion worth of crypto. According to the latest criminal investigation report, this figure accounted for 93% of all the assets that the tax enforcement seized that year.
The IRS is expecting its cryptocurrency seizure to increase even more next year.
The US IRS is expecting this cryptocurrency seizure trend to increase to even more billions next year. The report also highlighted other important figures for 2021 in its CI report. The total value of tax fraud identified was over $2 billion, while about $8 billion went to other financial crimes. In total, the US agency executed 1497 warrants, with an 89.4% conviction rate. Tax fraud took the highest percentage – 72% – of all direct investigative time spent. It comprised various crimes such as cybercrimes – including crypto crimes, identity theft, and corporate fraud.
IRS seized over $1 billion in Bitcoin from the Silk Road.
The IRS Criminal Investigation unit seized billions of dollars in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the 2021 fiscal year. These seizures were connected to cases involving a range of criminal activities. However, the most significant high-profile crypto case was the seizure of over $1 billion in Bitcoin. This seizure was related to Silk Road, an online black market and the first modern darknet market shut down by law enforcement in 2013. Earlier, a New York federal jury convicted Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht of seven criminal counts. After a long investigation by the IRS Cyber Crime Unit (CCU), special agents seized Bitcoin valued at over $1 billion in November 2020.